One Hour: One Project – DH and Libraries Ebook

DH and Libraries ebook-cover

Following up from the One Hour session…

The idea was to take the hour, make something tangible, and learn a new skill quickly.

We decided to make an ebook on the topic of DH and Libraries, pulling content from Miriam Posner’s bibliography on the topic. There were a few hang-ups along the way (downloading Calibre, iPad users had to pair with those who had laptops, some formatting and wonky file saving issues) but triumphing over all, we succeeded.

Our process:

  1. Find HTML/Text version of the content
  2. Copy
  3. Paste to word processor (Word and GDocs were used)
  4. Format for content headings, hyperlinks
  5. Save as .htm
  6. Import to Calibre
  7. Edit metadata
  8. Export as EPUB

I went around and collected the .htm files from most groups, and then did the extra step of meshing them all into one .htm file (copy/paste/reformat), for the purpose of spitting out one EPUB file of ALL the collected works. The final product is below:


  • Copyright – we decided that our use is transformative and are claiming fair use or relying on Creative Commons licenses of the original works. Several of the works, published in the most traditional journals, we simply skipped over so as not to deal with it right away.
  • Workflow – the reformatting of the documents is what ends up taking the most time. Also, several people experimented with hand coding the HTML, and for some reason it didn’t translate when saved as .htm. Automating some of the simpler tasks might be a future project for someone to take on.
  • Tools – Calibre may not be best tool for this. It has a bunch of features that we didn’t take the time to work through that would probably make the ebooks work better. A continuation of this session might explore other tools using the same content and process.
  • Formatting – after fiddling around with the text for a while I still can’t seem to get the formatting right when moving from .doc to .htm to .epub. Something changes in translation that overlaps and makes the formatting look dumb.


  • In less than an hour, 15-20 people experimented with modifying content to meet different  information needs. Win.
  • Reusing openly licensed data(text) is good for the (open)environment.
  • The product is an expanded accessible version of the source content.
  • This is a small step and example of the direction of “library publishing” that was also discussed at THATCamp ACRL.
  • We only got through about 5 articles on the bibliography! More to do! Here’s the .htm file and the Word doc so you can continue to add more!
Categories: General, Publishing, Scholarly Editions | Tags: , , |

About Micah Vandegrift

I'm the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Florida State University. I like BBQ, movies, and hiking/camping. Mostly, I like digital scholarshipping.

2 Responses to One Hour: One Project – DH and Libraries Ebook

  1. Pingback: ACRL 2013 Notes | Heck of a Good Universe Next Door

  2. Pingback: ACRLog » Participatory Learning, Active Application: Reflections on the ACRL Conference

Comments are closed.